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Summary

The educators of ancient Greece and Rome gave the world a vision of what education should be. The medieval and Renaissance teachers valued their insights and lofty goals. Christian educators such as Augustine, Erasmus, Milton, and Comenius drew from the teaching of Plato, Aristotle, and Quintilian those truths which they found universal and potent. Charlotte Mason developed her own philosophy of education from the riches of the past, not accidentally but purposefully. She and the other founding members of the Parents’ National Educational Union in England were inspired by the classical educators of history and set out to achieve their vision in modern education. They succeeded - and thanks to Charlotte Mason’s clear development of methods to realize the classical ideals, we can partake of the classical tradition as well.

Classical education is an education of the heart and conscience as much as it is an education of the mind. This audiobook explores the classical emphasis on formation of character and links Charlotte Masons ideas to the thinkers of the past. This is not a "how to" book about education, but a "why to" book that will bring clarity to many of the ideas you already know about teaching and learning.

"I thought that my fire for heart education could not be further stoked; I was mistaken. Karen Glass has here laid out the thrilling joy of education, for both the teacher and the taught." (Michelle Miller, author of the TruthQuest History series)

©2014 Karen Glass (P)2019 Karen Glass

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Interesting, but perhaps lacking in detail

I’d not heard of Charlotte Mason, nor read much about educational philosophy before, so I was curious to listen to this audiobook. I found it interesting, and think that there are aspects of the “classical tradition” which could usefully and easily be included in a more typical modern teaching syllabus. However, it might be difficult for teachers not taught according to these principles to develop the knowledge and skills required to encourage “synthetic thinking” by their students. And Sadly, this book does not give much advice on how to develop a synthetic thinking approach, nor how to teach it. I felt it spent a lot of time extolling the ideas in general terms, and provided little in the way of the evidence teachers might find helpful to encourage them to seek to introduce this approach. Persuading parents, university tutors, employers and the like that such an approach is of value in a highly competitive culture where grades are paramount (and very easy to assess) in students and young people getting access to opportunities is another matter altogether. I was grateful that the more “theological” discussion was gathered into a single, late section, as, being a humanist and agnostic, I would have found the book very hard to be engaged by had it been a constant feature. Personally, from early childhood I’ve been interested in a wide range of subjects, despite an education prioritising science. I was taught Latin for two years, during which I learned a lot about English grammar which had been overlooked earlier in my education. I’ve not read any of the Greek or Roman writers or “great books”, and wonder how relevant these are today, given the difference in cultures, and the difficulty of translation capturing the subtler aspects of the works. I personally suspect that the adult one grows into is the result of multiple inputs and influences, with things we learn, and the people we learn from, whether teachers, role models or others, and our social experiences along the way. I’m not sure that the ideal of education resulting in developing into “virtuous” adults fully encompasses the needs of young people entering our world and society as adults. Aside from the fact that “virtuous” is subjective and varies between cultures, I think we need to educate young people to be able to join and contribute to society, with suitable technical skills to use technology safely, understand that they’ll need to carry on learning simply to keep up with the pace of change, and having the critical skills to question the “sales pitch” offered by so many public figures.

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  • Kay Pelham
  • 19-01-20

Beautifully read with clarity and understanding

The combination of the narrator being a very skilled reader, knowledgeable about the topic, and an ardent believer in the material, made for an excellent listening experience. She reads with clarity and appropriate emphasis. I highly recommend this audiobook to enhance the reader's understanding of all that Consider This addresses.

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  • Eunice Reynaga
  • 11-07-20

very understandable

I could understand all the Charlotte Mason Principals, better than before, I'm ready to keep learning about this matter.

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  • Brooke
  • 08-05-20

An intellectual book for budding and seasoned intellectuals alike

I was afraid much of this would go over my head because I know very little of classical education and have only scratched the surface of Charlotte Mason’s philosophies. However, this book’s content proves to be impressive yet stated as simply as needed to communicate the reasoning behind the thought processes, which are profoundly deep yet extremely approachable, maintaining clarity and simplicity, and never condescending. The narrator is superb! You can tell she believes and understands what she is reading.